A Young Entrepreneuer's Quest

Why Running a PTC Website is a Bad Idea

by Patrick Toerner on January 19, 2010

For clarification, PTC stands for Paid To Click.  This is a site that pays you (generally a penny or less) to click advertisements.

There are some huge websites in the PTC business.  Neobux and Clixsense are the two largest.  They each have over thousands upon thousands of members and make tons of cash.  So, you may do exactly what I did, which is to look at Neobux or Clixsense and think, “I can do this too! I will make millions!”

Sorry to break it to you, but PTCs just don’t work.  I have owned and operated one, and was profitable for about two months.  Then it tanked.  I could even see the crash coming, but I was helpless against it.

On paper it sounds great.  I charge 2 cents per click from advertisers and pay only 1 cent a click to members.  I can also sell upgrades and do the whole renting referrals thing to earn even more per user.

Where it fails, is that nearly no advertiser will pay 2 cents for the junk clicks from PTCs.  Even if by the odd chance that you do get some advertisers, they will see that the traffics is horrible and never come back.

When a member upgrades they get certain perks, such as more per click, more referrals, and more ads.  The actual value of these upgrades is generally $200 or more, but no one in their right mind would buy that.  So many PTC owners(myself included) set their upgraded membership cost much too low.  This shows a huge profit in the beginning.  Ten people just bought my $40 membership! The part which I overlooked was that they will be making $20 a week now.

The business plan of a PTC just doesn’t work out.  Here is as detailed of an account as to how my PTC business ran:

First, I got PTC hosting and the script from buxhost.com. They were actually a great business, their customer service was impeccable. They charged $20 a month. Not bad for hosting and the rights to use their PTC script.

Next up, I spent $25 or so advertising on other PTCs.  Ironically, PTCs are pretty much the only thing worth advertising on PTCs.  This gave me an initial 300 or so members.

In the next few days I spent around $15 more dollars on advertising.  Between this and the referring from all of the members, I had over 5,000 members within a couple weeks.  As I recall I broke 35,000 in Alexa rankings too.

Advertisers? Nope, I got a few people who bought the $5 or $10 dollar advertising package, but no big buys.

My website grew and grew so I tried to monetize it other ways.  I put in some of my own links to affiliate products and CPA offers, but the conversions were less that .01%.  So I tried pushing the membership by making it more worth their while to upgrade.  Instantly I got 10 upgrades.  Quickest $400 of my life.

But like I said before, now, these upgraded members are making $20 a week each.  So in two weeks they will have recouped their investment and started making pure profits.  This is one reason how Neobux stays in business.  They have such a large user base that they are getting a constant flow of upgrades.

So before long I knew I would be in the red. Long story short, I refunded the upgrades and sold the website (really the 10,000 members) for $100 and basically broke even.

It taught me a huge huge lesson though: Evaluate the streams of profits, but more importantly the expenses!

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